Friday, May 11, 2007

Metabolic Testing Results

Cycling is a great sport. It's healthy, it's social, and it can be extremely competitive. It gives me a free pass to eat good food and drink great wine. And if group rides are any indication, I can hope to maintain fitness and strength in cycling for several decades to come. But that's enough waxing poetic, now for the numbers.

A lot of the enjoyment I get from cycling is from being a lab rat in the science experiment of training. About 17 months ago, when I was first considering switching from triathlon to full-time cycling, I decided I'd get tested for some basic metabolic benchmarks. It was December 2005, I'd been training with some sort of structure for about 5 years, and the numbers looked something like this:

December 2005
Predicted max heartrate: 182 bpm
Lactate threshold (LT): 135 bpm (heartrate where sugar burning takes over as energy)
Aerobic threshold (AeT): 116 bpm (heartrate where I first start burning fat)
VO2max: 64 ml/kg/min (ability to uptake and use oxygen)
Body fat percentage: 10.4%

Yesterday I had the numbers run again to find out how they've changed after a year and a half of more intense cycling-specific training.

May 2007
Predicted max heartrate: 182 bpm
LT: 145 bpm
AeT: 127 bpm
VO2max: 67, but hit 70+ for short period in test
Body fat percentage: 9.1%

Over the next few posts, I'll take a look at each of the results and their implications to my training and racing (and eating). Also, I learned a few new things about exercise physiology from Tony Myers at ATS that I found interesting, so I'll elaborate on those as well.